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MDSA01H3 Chapter Notes -Kate Moss, Gender Binary, The Stereotypes

Media Studies
Course Code
Gray Graffam

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Feminist Analysis
- Biological quality of hair becomes a way that we understand the cultural rules surrounding what
it means to be masculine or feminine-
- The associations and meanings between biology and culture are exemplified through feminist
- Feminist scholars look at how the limiting nature of mass media texts that reinforce dominant
social understandings of sex and gender.
- Feminism: explores the diverse ways men and women are socially empowered or
- Sexism : discrimination based upon a person’s sex.
- Feminism is a political project that is focused on deconstructing sexist oppression present in our
everyday norms and experiences.
- Sex: refers to the innate biological differences between men and women: anatomy ,
reproduction, hormones, etc.
- Gender: refers to culturally constructed differences between men and women, such as tastes,
roles, activities, etc.
- It is a biological fact that only women can give birth to children, but the tendency to view
women as nurturing and mothering is a gendered quality.
- We tend to understand gendered qualities as sexual ones , understanding culturally constructed
norms as innate biological traits
- Essentialism: the belief that gender distinctions are innate and natural
- Patriarchy : a system of power relations in which women’s interests are subordinate to those of
- Patriarchy essentializes women in a way that devalues them while serving the interests of men.
- Patriarchal systems empower men and disempower women by making constructed, gender
power imbalances seem natural and innate.
- We may not consider ourselves sexist , because we are not literally sexist- but we play the game
of sexism when we go out into the world and take part in social systems that are inherently
sexist- makes us sexist as well
- All men are sexist, but women are too because we are all playing by the rules of the game when
we unconsciously enact sexist social conventions
- The gendered expectations that patriarchy places on women also exert pressure on men , often
demanding that men show little emotion , avoid certain occupations or act as the breadwinner
of families.
- Stereotype: is a misleading and simplified representation of a particular social group.
Stereotypes are damaging because they gloss over the complex characteristics that actually
define a social group and reduce its members to a few.
- Stereotypes or mental categories of people we carry with us, allow us to quickly process
information about strangers by greatly reducing the amount of information that we have to take
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